Ante-nuptial Agreements and "Proper Provision": An Irish Response to Radmacher v Granatino
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Buckley, L. A. (2011) 'Ante-nuptial Agreements and Proper Provision: An Irish Response to Radmacher v Granatino'. Irish Journal Of Family Law, 14 (1):3-14.
Irish law makes little reference to the principle of self-determination in relation to financial provision on matrimonial breakdown. The Family Law Act 1995 and the Family Law (Divorce) Act 1996 place some emphasis on mediation; settlement and consent orders are always possible, and a prior separation agreement is a factor to be considered by the court in making financial provision on divorce. However, Ireland has no system of binding ante-nuptial agreements as these were traditionally regarded as being contrary to public policy insofar as they contemplated marital breakdown. This lack has become particularly relevant since the introduction of divorce and judicial separation in Ireland. The discretionary nature of financial provision under the 1995 and 1996 Acts has stimulated interest in financial agreements, particularly in high net worth cases, where parties are entering second marriages or where inherited property is at stake. To what extent might such agreements now be recognised by the courts? There are no recent Irish cases on this issue: should changes in public policy and the broader social context in recent decades lead to changes in the legal status of antenuptial agreements?